|The last cask standing?|
CAMRA YVR partakes in the
end of an era
Dix, which served its last beer on premises, May 24, 2010, became a mecca for craft beer lovers here in Vancouver and its closing left a huge hole this city's craft beer community. Brewers Tony Dewalt and Derrick Franche became brewing legends in Vancouver as a result of their delicious and innovative brews, which were served at ridiculously cheap prices, another facet of Dix that is sorely missed in this city. Dix was instrumental in kick-starting the cask beer movement in this city developing what I believe was the first cask night, held each Thursday and by holding their now-legendary Caskiville events which have been the inspiration for recent cask-dominated festivals held by CAMRA. Franche, the head brewer at Dix when the Mark James Group closed it down, is now brewing at The Whistler Brewhouse and as a tribute to his formerly loyal clientele at Dix and to CAMRA for supporting and promoting the art of brewing craft beer, invited CAMRA members to come up to enjoy the last surviving cask of Dix IPA.
|CAMRA members celebrating|
finishing off the last DIX IPA
cask - preview to a Stanley Cup
victory for the Canucks?
|Beers aplenty were shared among the CAMRA |
Spring Expedition revellers
|Howe Sound Brewery is worth the trip up to|
Squamish all on its own.
I am not sure how many really took in the amazing scenery on the way home as the bus worked its way down the Sea to Sky Highway. The views of the snow-capped mountains illuminated by the day's last rays of sunlight were spectacular. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos as I was incapable of focusing my eyes, never mind a camera, by that time of the day. And in an apparent defiance of nature, the energy on the bus actually seemed to increase on the way home, which is usually not the case on a ten-hour beer tour! I was clever enough to head straight home, avoiding an even heavier toll Sunday and the wrath of my wife but I did see several merry-makers heading off in the direction of the nightlife of Commercial Drive when we arrive back at St Augustine's.
Cudos to those who organized the trip as they must have felt they were herding cats at certain times of the day. It is a difficult task to keep 40something folks on the rails when their sole purpose of the day is to sample and consume beers, many of them of the very strong variety. I know as I, along with a few friends, have organized a few tours under the name BeerTourist and it is much harder than it seems. But in the end, all the smiling faces getting off the bus around 9 PM must have made all the hard work worth it for the CAMRA organizers. If you have never been on one of these bus tours, whether it be with CAMRA, BeerTourist or any other group, I highly recommend going. They are a lot of fun. Just remember to bring a few tasty brews to share on the bus, get a good night's sleep the night before and eat a hearty beakfast before boarding the bus...and don't plan too much for the next day as you may find yourself moving a little more slowly than usual.
Also, please try to avoid foods that may result in backfiring of any kind, as one or more members of this trip did not. There were a few moments on the trip that nearly resulted in mass vomiting and it had nothing to do with the beers being consumed. Silent-but-deadlies are not fun in a confined space!!